All posts by kafeadmin

Smart Schools Bond Act

Vote No!
Why? Because it just doesn’t make sense!!!

Photo: Vote No!<br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
Why? Because it just doesn't make sense!!!<br /><br /><br /><br /><br />


Before we vote for $2 billion proposed bond for technology in November, we should all take a look at how well it worked out in Hoboken – click here - hint: the article is titled ‘Why Hoboken is throwing away all of its student laptops’.

Click here to read additional information posted at Jolyn’s Education Corner related to the Smart Schools Bond Act including the actual text as it will appear on the November 4, 2014 ballot and several articles/videos giving pros and cons.



Don’t miss the Common Core Fact Forum with Dr. Peg Luksik – Sunday September 7, 2014 – Kingston, New York

To understand more about Common Core and why we here at KAFE have been fighting against and advocating for full repeal of the Common Core State Standards, please join us on Sept 7, 2014 at 6:30 pm.  Education expert Dr. Peg Luksik will be our featured speaker and will be able to answer your questions and concerns.

This is a free event open to the public.  Parents, teachers, students, community members and community leaders are all encouraged to attend.


Dr. Peg Luksik, expert educator, from Founded on Truth, will share the facts about “Common Core”.

Hosted by Kingston Action For Education (KAFE)

Date:  Sunday September 7, 2014

Time:  6:30 pm – 8:00 pm

Location:  Saint James United Methodist Church, 35 Pearl Street, Kingston New York 12401

Common Core – Fact Forum flyer

  Common Core Forum event – September 7, 2014

Extended Learning Time Grant update – school districts may reject grant for longer days

Out of 700 school districts only 25 applied for the Extended Learning Time grant. Of those 25, 9 were selected. Now, some of those 9 districts that just found out that they “won” the extended learning time grant may reject the grant as they now don’t have enough planning time or cooperation from the community to proceed to begin in September 2014.

Details in article here.

The nine districts were told this month that they would receive the grants, and the state wants them to begin the longer school programs in September. But superintendents in Utica, Auburn, South Seneca and Lackawanna have asked for an additional six months to a year to plan for the extended-day programs. If they don’t get the extra time to plan, they won’t accept the money, they said.

KAFE color logo

The Kingston City School District applied for this grant in October 2013 but withdrew the application in March 2014 based on feedback from the Kingston community.  See local details related to the Extended Learning Time Grant here.


August Kingston Board of Education meetings

Since many families will be away at different times during August, just wanted to post the August BOE meeting dates before the month begins.  They are:

  • Wednesday August 6, 2014
  • Wednesday August 20, 2014

The full calendar of Board of Education meeting dates for the 2014-2015 school year can be found here on the KCSD website.

We also plan to maintain a listing of key KCSD events, such as Board of Education meetings, on the webpage under the Events tab.  Check it out here.

Extended Learning Time Grant history

Kingston Action For Education’s first parent action was regarding the Extended Learning Time Grant which the Kingston City School District applied for in October 2013 but parents did not become aware of, in general, until January 2014 when parents Maria Maritsas and Jolyn Safron asked questions about the grant at the Board of Education meeting – Freeman article here.

Parents waited for information from the district via District Wide Parents’ Council but due to snow and other situations, answers to questions were delayed.  Concern became such that Kingston Action For Education was formed.

Activities of Kingston Action For Education/discussion on facebook related to the Extended Learning Time Grant:

  • Kingston Action For Education facebook group formed on March 9, 2014 to raise awareness among parents regarding the Extended Learning Time Grant
  • write/call/email the BOE, the Superintendent, the Freeman, the State Education Department Grant Committee…let them know. Make your voices heard!  (March 9) 
  • Rally against the Extended Learning Time Grant planned for March 19, 2014 at JFK Elementary School (March 10) from 3:30 – 5pm
  • the Extended Learning Day Program is one of many important topics being proposed by Crown Street that has garnered no publicity nor sought any public in-put. That needs to change now. Remember, the Superintendent and BOE work for US!!! Please continue to spread the word.   Petition is in process, fliers are being made and a tally is planned!!!!  KAFE a team of ACTION!!!!  (March 10) 
  • Due to the outpouring of concern and questions from parents, Questions and Answers regarding the Extended Learning Time grant were posted on district website – March 10
  • Petition to refuse the Extended Learning Time grant created (March 11)
  • The petition will be coming down as a result of KCSD withdrawing from the grant!  Announcement from KCSD posted here on March 12, 2014.

Text of Kingston City School District post announcing withdrawal from Extended Learning Time Grant

KCSD Withdraws ELT Grant Application


The Kingston City School District has heard an overwhelming response from parents, school faculty and staff, and community members who oppose the possibility of an extended school day. In response, the KCSD is formally withdrawing its application for the Extended Learning Time (ELT) grant with the New York State Education department.


“The ELT grant was designed to address academic deficiencies, provide wraparound services, and support students in our most diverse and socio-economically challenged schools, and the administration and Board of Education are still firmly committed to these initiatives. The ELT grant was a unique opportunity to create a state-funded pilot program without a startup cost to the local taxpayer,” said Dr. Padalino, Superintendent. “However, the ELT grant would require faculty, staff, and community support as well as parental participation to be implemented effectively. As we all know, a home-school partnership is critical to student success. Lacking this essential component, we made the decision to withdraw our application. We will continue to explore developing after-school programs that have OPTIONAL participation.”


As the KCSD moves forward with planning for the 2014-2015 school year, community participation will continue to be an important part of the process. “We hope the withdrawal of this grant application sends a strong message to our faculty, staff, and parents,” said Dr. Padalino. “We value your expertise, and we truly care what you think. We know we need to partner with you in order to create the best programs and opportunities for our students. Please continue to reach out to us and share your concerns. Please also consider sharing what you think is going well, “best-practices” that we should consider implementing Districtwide.”


There are several upcoming opportunities for back and forth dialogue with the Board of Education and the Superintendent. The first is a 12:30 PM “Coffee and Conversation” on Wednesday, March 12th at Dreamweavers Café located at 34 North Front Street in Uptown Kingston. On April 7th, there will be a budget forum beginning at 6 PM at the KCSD administrative offices, located at 61 Crown Street. Then, on Thursday April 24th there is a “Coffee and Conversation” at 288 Wall Street 8:30 at Hudson Coffee Traders.


Additional articles/blog posts related to the Extended Learning Time grant:


Welcome to the Kingston Action For Education website

Welcome to the Kingston Action For Education website.

Kingston Action For Education, or KAFE, was founded on Facebook in March 2014 by three Kingston moms Maria Maritsas, Tory Lowe and Jolyn Safron, who were concerned about educational issues within the Kingston City School District.

In order to allow more parents to become involved in KAFE, we are now expanding beyond Facebook with this website .  We hope that parents will feel empowered in their job as primary educator of their children by the information and resources provided and that they will feel able to take whatever action is needed for their own children and for the betterment of all of the children being educated in Kingston.

One of the things we pride ourselves on at KAFE is presenting factual information to the community and the opportunity to dialog about possible concerns and issues. We are not here to force opinions one way or the other but to make all aware of what may be. If we hear or see something great going on we will absolutely share that as much as topics of concern. We appreciate your continued support and feedback. Thank you!

Please submit any questions to the KAFE administrators using the form below: